Compounds Based on “Port”

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This post lists and defines compound words in which the second element is the word port, derived from the Latin word portare, meaning “carry.”

Airport, carport, heliport, and seaport refer to locations where the vehicles and vessels implied by the respective prefixes embark and return (and remain between uses).

To apport (literally, “carry to”) is to move or produce something through supernatural means, and an apport is something so moved. To comport (“carry with”) is to agree or to behave. (As with most but not all words featuring a prefix attached to port, the noun is formed by appending -ation.) Deport (“carry away”) usually refers to expelling a person to his or her home country. Disport has the same literal meaning but generally refers to amusement or diversion.

Sport is a truncation of disport that usually refers to athletic activities (originally engaged in for amusement as a respite from one’s routine). Sport can mean “engage in sport,” but as a verb it more often takes the place of wear in an emphatic sense (as in “He sported a new tie”), though it is also a synonym for jest or ridicule. As a noun, sport refers to an athletic activity, and the plural form denotes several or all such activities collectively. Sport has also been used as a friendly term for directly addressing a boy (as in the greeting “Hey, sport!”).

The adjectives sporting, sportive, and sporty have distinct connotations: Sporting means “suitable for sport,” usually in the context of hunting dogs, or may refer to gambling or to risk; in a scientific context, it means “tending to mutate freely.” (The adverbial form is sportingly.) Sportive refers to sporting events, usually those conducted on a field, but it may also have a connotation of “playful” or “wanton.” (The noun form is sportiveness, and sportively is the adverbial form.) Sporty pertains to sports or people or things associated with them (or to sports cars, so named because their design and performance are inspired by race cars). Sportiness is the noun associated with this term, and the adverbial form is sportily.

Export (“carry out”) and import (“carry in”) refer, as verbs, nouns, and adjectives, to goods brought into or send out from a country for sale elsewhere; in the context of computers, the terms denote movement of a file from one program to another.

Passport, the word for a document that authorizes travel to one country from another, derived from the notion of being able to pass, or gain entry to, a port when traveling by ship. By extension, it also pertains to permission to go somewhere or something that enables someone to achieve acceptance or entrance. To purport (“thoroughly carry”) is to claim, or to have the appearance of something, whether valid or not; the word can also be a synonym of intend or purpose. As a noun, purport refers to the gist or substance of something or to an implicit or explicit meaning.

Rapport (“carry back”) is a deep, understanding relationship between two people. Borrowed from French, in English it originally had the same meaning as report (“carry back”), which means “make a recorded, spoken, or written statement or summary” or “present an account or announcement”; a report is such a message. A reporter is a journalist who covers news (the act of reporting is also called reportage), and a court reporter records proceedings in hearings and trials. To report for duty is to show up at a designated place and time to carry out a responsibility, usually in the context of military service.

To support (“carry under”) is to help with emotional, financial, physical, or verbal assistance, to advocate or corroborate, or to hold up a structure. Support is also a noun describing such assistance (supportance and supportation are two obsolete variations), and a supporter is a person or thing that provides it.

Transport (“carry across”) means “convey from one place to another,” though it also has the aesthetic connotation of feeling rapturous emotion, and historically it refers to sending someone to an overseas penal colony as punishment. Someone who transports is a transporter. (The term has also been used in the Star Trek franchise to refer to a device that dematerializes and rematerializes matter to move it from one place to another.)

Transport is also a noun pertaining to a vehicle or vessel that carries people and/or things, a rush of pleasurable emotion, or a convict sent to a penal colony. The act of moving people or things, or a mode of doing so, is transport or transportation, and the quality of being able to be moved is transportability; something that can be moved is transportable.

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10 thoughts on “Compounds Based on “Port””

  1. Airport, carport, heliport, and seaport .
    ALSO, lakeport, riverport, and spaceport.

    Notable lakeports: Baku, Bay City, Buffalo, Burlington (Vermont), Chicago, Cleveland, Duluth, Erie (Pennsylvania), Milwaukee, Rochester, Toronto, and ports on Lake Baikal in Siberia.
    Baku is on the Caspian Sea, but that is essentially a saltwater lake, and it has other ports in Iran and Russia.

    Notable riverports: Albany, Augusta, Basel, Bratislava, Belgrade, Budapest, Baton Rouge, Bonn, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Cologne, Detroit, Dnipro, Dusseldorf, Evansville, Gorki, Hamilton, Heidelberg, Kansas City, Knoxville, Little Rock, London, Louisville, Lyon, Mannheim, Memphis, Montreal, Nashville, Paris, Pittsburgh, Portland, Richmond, Rotterdam, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Louis, Strasbourg, Toledo, Trenton, Vicksburg, Vienna, Volgograd, Wiesbaden, Windsor.

    There are spaceports in Florida, New Mexico, and California, and in Kazakhstan, there is the Baikonur Cosmodrome, where “cosmodrome” essentially means “spaceport, and in French Guiana there is the spaceport of the ESA. China also has at least one spaceport. Also, in Russia there was a “spaceport” named “Kapustin Yar”, but we found out that this one was a propaganda ploy.

  2. Oops, Dnipro might not be a riverport on the Dnieper River – because of rapids and huge dams, but further downstream there are riverports. Much further upstream from Dnipro is Kiev, Ukraine, and much further upstream from that is Smolensk, Russia.
    There are riverports upstream from St. Petersburg, Russia, too, and one of them is located in what is still called the “Leningrad Oblask”, oddly enough. I had thought that the Russians had eliminated everything named for Lenin or Stalin. (Stalingrad is long gone as a name.)

  3. Interesting lakeports and the railroads:
    I. Lake Titicaca has two lakeports, one in Peru and one in Bolivia, that serve a railroad ferry, and this provides a railroad connection to Bolivia. Otherwise, Bolivia is not connected by railroad with Peru, Brazil, or Paraguay, and only by a broken-down railroad to Chile.
    II. When the Trans-Siberian Railroad was being built, the huge (north-south) Lake Baikal was in the way. For decades, Russia (and the USSR) used two lakeports connected by ferries to carry the railroad cars during the warm months, and then when the lake froze over, they built tracks across the ice Finally, Stalin used Zeks from the Gulag Archipelago to build a railroad around the southern end of the lake. (slave labor)
    III. When the German Army laid siege to Leningrad, it cut all of the railroads and highways into and out of the city. The only connection was via Lake Lagoda to the east, and when the lake froze over during the cruel winters, the only way to take supplies to Leningrad was over the ice. I don’t know whether they built railroads there or now. Hundreds of thousands of people starved or froze in Leningrad. Some peeled wallpaper off the walls so that they could eat the paste.

  4. Bridgeport, Connecticut; Gulfport, Mississippi; Bayport, New York; Bayport, Texas; Freeport, Texas; Newport in many places, including England, Rhode Island, and Tennessee; Mayport Naval Base, Florida; Northport, Alabama; Westport, Connecticut.
    It is interesting that Bayport, N.Y., is next-door to the Brookhaven National Laboratories on Long Island, and Bayport, Tex., is next-door to the Johnson Space Flight Center.

  5. Airport, carport, freeport, heliport, homeport, input/output port, lakeport, riverport, seaport, spaceport, telecommunications port, data port.
    How about some more?

  6. Named for royalty: Kingsport, Queensport, and Williamsport, where the ones in the U.S.A. are no longer important because their rivers are too shallow. It is interesting that the landlocked state of Tennessee has Kingsport and Newport – both way upstream on rivers like the headwaters of the Tennessee River.

  7. Other notable riverports: Columbia, Missouri; Decatur, Ala.; Dubuque, Iowa; Duisburg; Frankfurt am Main; Joliet, Illinois; Kingsport, Ontario; Manaus, Brazil; New Orleans; Peoria; Quad Cities, Iowa/Illinois; Quincy, Illinois; Shreveport; Stockton, Calif.; Superior, Wisc.; Tuscaloosa, Ala.
    I just found out that the busiest riverport in Europe is at Duisburg, Germany, on the Rhine.
    The navigable part of the Rhone River does not quite reach upstream to Lake Geneva, and so it does not give access to Switzerland, like Basel does, via the Rhine River.

  8. Airport, carport, freeport, heliport, homeport, input/output port, lakeport, riverport, seaport, spaceport, telecommunications port, data port.
    How about some more?
    multimodal port, power port, teleport (actually a verb).
    A multimodal port is a place for connecting several forms of transportation, e.g. trucks, trains, barges, buses, ferries, helicopters, and/or subways.
    A power port is a place for plugging in your cellular phone, laptop computer, iPad, pager, tape recorder, or even your electric car for recharging.
    Supposedly, some people with paranormal mental abilities can teleport themselves from here to there easily. One was Mohammed, who was said to have teleported himself from Arabia to Jerusalem.

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